A degree conferred following the successful completion of a university examination, e.g. Bachelor, Diplom, Doctor, Magister Artium, Master's Degree.
A general concept that includes the freedom of research, teaching, and study (see Section 4 of the BbgHG).
The term "cum tempore" (c.t.) indicates that a course will not start at the designated time, but 15 minutes later.
The term refers to the period of period of study lasting 12 months; this consists of the Winter Semester and the Summer Semester. It begins with the first day of the Winter Semester. The academic year at the University of Potsdam correspondingly extends from October 1 to September 30. You can find deadlines and dates related to studies here.
Universities have their new Bachelor and Master's degree programs reviewed by special accreditation agencies. Degree programs that can establish by this review that they maintain certain minimum standards are "accredited," and are thereby conferred a sort of seal of quality. As there are currently many new degree programs being established, it requires a relatively long time before the accreditation process has been completed. A not yet completed accreditation process is therefore not an indication of poor quality; the University of Potsdam possesses the seal of system accreditation.
Following an application submitted to the the dean and the approval of the responsible minister, the university administration can appoint private lecturers, who have completed their post-doctoral qualifications at least four years previously and who have displayed high quality in their teaching and research, to the position of adjunct professor (see Section 57 BbgHG).
A decision made according to the specified admissions procedure, whereby an applicant is accepted to study (at a university or "Hochschulstart"); admission is therefore the justification of a claim to a particular admission slot, but only after the granting of admission and subsequent enrollment (registering at the university), and is the procedurally regulated implementation of this claim.
Affiliatied institutes, scientific institutions, and extramural research institutions
- Abraham Geiger College
- Academy for Psychotherapy and Intervention Research
- The Protestant Institute for Church Law
- Hasso Plattner Institute
- Institute for Applied Research for Family, Children and Youth (IFK)
- Johannes Overath Institute
- Canonical Institute
- Institute of Local Government Studies of the University of Potsdam
- The Human Rights Centre
- Moses Mendelssohn Center for European Jewish studies (MMZ)
- Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism
- pearls - Potsdam Research Network
- Potsdam Graduate School (PoGS)
- Potsdam Transfer
- Association for Further Qualification in the Education Sector (WiB)
The Alumni Program is open to all former students, doctoral candidates, and visiting scholars, as well as university employees, and aims to foster contacts with the university and with each other, creating a link between theory and practice. Further information can be found on the Alumni Program website.
Annotated Course Catalog
A catalog of courses for individual subjects/departments that also describes the content of the events, provides bibliographical references, etc.; the annotated course catalog can be obtained in the departments as well as being available online.
This refers to the appointment to a professorship, as well as the appointment to positions on commissions or similar bodies.
Some degree programs at the University of Potsdam have special admission requirements:
- Arts (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate),
- Applied Cultural and Translation Studies (German-Polish) (single-subject bachelor's degree),
- English Studies / American Studies (dual-subject bachelor’s degree),
- English (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate: secondary and primary education),
- French Philology (dual-subject bachelor's degree),
- French (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate: secondary education),
- Italian Philology (dual-subject bachelor's degree),
- Latin (dual-subject bachelor's degree),
- Latin (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate: secondary education),
- Music (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate for secondary levels),
- Music (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate for primary levels),
- Polish Philology (dual-subject bachelor's degree),
- Polish (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate: secondary education),
- Russian Studies (dual-subject bachelor's degree),
- Russian (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate: secondary education),
- Spanish Philology (dual-subject bachelor's degree),
- Spanish (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate: secondary education),
- Sports Therapy and Prevention (single-subject bachelor’s degree),
- Sports Management (single-subject bachelor’s degree),
- Sports (bachelor’s degree with teaching certificate: secondary and primary education).
Proof that you have passed the test must be submitted with your application or upon enrollment. Successfully passed aptitude tests are valid for two years. More information can be found here.
Association for Student Affairs
Associations for Student Affairs are bodies governed by public law and are independent of the university; they perform a variety of tasks, such as promoting student grant programs and providing social safeguards for students: student affairs associations offer advice on questions regarding financial aid through BAföG, administer the student dormitories, and are responsible for the maintenance of the university commons and cafeterias; in addition, they offer advisory services on various topics: including psychotherapeutic and social counselling; further information can be found under www.studentenwerk-potsdam.de
AStA (General Student Committee)
Elected by the student council, it represents the interests of students through various departments (internal and external university policy, press and public relations, transportation and environment, women's , social, and international affairs, culture, and finances). The AStA website can be found here.
Refers to those who are not members or students of the university, yet who have attended individual courses after receiving application approval; proof of additional qualifications or a higher education entrance qualification is not required; auditors are not entitled to take examinations; an application, which also includes the permission of the person conducting the course, must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs; a fee is usually charged; individuals serving in the military or performing civil service who possess a higher education entrance qualification, as well as prospective students seeking admission without the German High School Leaving Certificate (Abitur) are exempt from the payment of fees; the relevant rules can be found in the Registration Regulations of the University of Potsdam.
(also known as the "Audimax") is generally the largest and most representative lecture hall of the university.
BAföG (German Financial Aid)
BAföG is the German abbreviation for the Federal Education and Trainings Assistance Act. It governs the level of individual financial support for students. The term is also commonly used to refer to the amount of money one receives in accordance with the act. Applications for financial aid can also be made for studies and traineeships abroad. In principle, funding supplied by BAföG is dependant on income and assets, whereby one's own income, that of one's parents or spouse, as well as existing assets are relevant to the calculation. The maximum period of assistance is governed by the standard time for completing a degree program. BAföG is paid half in the form of a grant and half as an interest-free loan, and there are many exemption possibilities for paying back the loan. Important to note is that the BAföG Office automatically pays every semester from the time of initial enrollment as a "funded" semester, even in cases where there was no application for BAföG. Detailed information is provided by the BAföG Office of the Association for Student Affairs. All pertinent information concerning BAfög can be found on the Internet under www.das-neue-bafoeg.de.
Refers to the coupling of instructional events with forms of learning via digital media, such as Moodle, Dropbox, and Wikis. In this manner, tasks can be assigned as well as making lecture notes and teaching material available.
A course that does not take place over the time-frame of a semester, but rather in the concentrated form of a block (e.g. block training during the semester break, as well as during the normal class period, such as over a weekend).
An examination consisting of multiple sub-examinations that must be completed within a set period of time as determined by the examination regulations.
Within the framework of the European-wide Bologna Process, German universities have gradually adapted most of their degree programs to meet the requirements of the declared goal of developing a competitive common European Higher Education Area. This resulted in the creation of a multi-tiered (consecutive) structure of university degrees (i.e. Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs, doctorate program) and the introduction of study programs consisting of modules as well as a system of credit points.
Brandenburg Network for University Orientation
The main focus of the Network for University Studies Orientation is to encourage secondary school students to explore their interests and potential; it offers them support by specifically and systematically providing them with orientation and promotes individual decision-making with respect to study and career choices. As an independent association of universities in Brandenburg, the Network supports prospective students in discovering their own personal path to university studies and is committed to upholding the values of independence, validity, and diversity. In addition, the Network aims at communicating key compentences that can contribute to the successful completion of university studies and strives to involve other actors in the area of university studies orientation as disseminators.
Brandenburg State Conference of University Presidents
An association of universities in the Federal State of Brandenburg formed in order to represent their interests vis-à-vis other federal states and university policies.
This is a course offered by the university before or in parallel with a regular course in order to provide new students with knowledge they may lack; the mathematics bridging courses for students of Natural Sciences and Economics and Business Studies, for example, have the task of assisting the transition from the school mathematics level to university mathematics level.
The cafeteria is open to students, lecturers, and other staff of the university and is operated by the Association for Student Affairs.
(Latin abbreviation for candidatus, candidate) - A term referring to an advanced semester student preparing for or taking his or her final examinations. It can be connected with the student's name prefixed to the abbreviation of his or her faculty, e.g. cand. jur., cand. phil., etc.
Career Services function as a bridge to the labor market and have been established at many universities, including the University of Potsdam. These services support students who during their studies already want to prepare for the transition to a professional career as well as its concomitant demands and requirements. They provide, among other services, training sessions in certain fields of expertise, information on career paths, advisory services on individual career planning, and help students to find an internship, a trainee program, or a job. In addition, Career Services serve as a point of contact for employers looking for junior staff as well as organizing projects, such as mentoring programs. You can find further information here.
Central Student Advisory Service
A facility of the university that provides, among other things, advisory services to prospective students, beginning students, and students in general with respect to academic opportunities, the structure and demands of degree programs, changing universities, changing disciplines, etc.; in addition to general student advisory services, psychological counselling is also offered. To find out more, click on this link.
Head of the university administration; is the commissioner for the university budget; manages the university under the responsibility of the president and conducts the ongoing affairs of the whole of the university administration.
Change of Degree Program
Change of Degree Program or Module; the Office of Student Affairs must be notified of a change of academic discipline during the re-registration period; in accordance with the regulations of financial aid (BAföG), a change of academic discipline takes place when a student chooses a new degree objective in another discipline and the semesters attended in the first degree program cannot be fully accredited to the newly begun degree program (shift of emphasis); this frequently has consequences for public funding; further financial aid with the permission of the BAföG Office may be required. The BAföG Office usually accepts a change of discipline within the first two to three semesters on the grounds that a student has experienced a shift in preferences. Also see Student Program Change.
Change of Focus
A change in degree program in accordance with BAföG regulations; the student presents a certificate for the new degree program to the appropriate examination board; the certificate indicates that the semester(s) completed in the first degree program are to be fully accredited; the study certificate is presented to the Office of Educational Support.
Changing Degree Programs
Occurs when the previously intended degree (e.g. from Diploma to Bachelor), the chosen discipline, or the degree and subject is changed; it is frequently synonymous with change of discipline, when the student wishes to change academic disciplines.
This takes place when a student changes the institution at which he or she is enrolled; before a planned change of university, students should by all means inform themselves on the admissions restrictions of the new institution; whoever wishes to register as a full-time student at another university must first officially de-register from the present university.
PUCK is the Potsdam University Chip Card, which simultaneously functions as a student ID, semester ticket for public transportation, university library card, copying and printing card, and a means of payment at the commons and cafeterias of the Potsdam Association for Student Affairs.
For more information, see the PUCK website.
A lecture-free period during the Christmas/New Year season determined by the Senate of the University. Here you will find a scheduling overview.
An event format in which discussions take place on a particular topic in order to promote the exchange of scientific experiences and results; representatives of other institutions are frequently invited to address special research topics at such events and to head the colloquium.
Commissioner for the Concerns of Dsiabled Students
The office responsible for the concerns of students with disabilities and chronic illnesses (i.e. study conditions, examination regulations, technical and personnel support). Information on relevant support services can be found here.
Compensation for disadvantages
Students with specific needs (e.g. disabilities and chronic illnesses, pregnancy, care-giving and nursing obligations) can apply for compensation for disadvantages relating to the completion of studies and examinations; authorization is given by the responsible Examining Board; information and application.
The regulations on compensation for disadvantages for other reasons can be found in the degree-specific regulations or the General Regulations for Bachelor and Master's Degree Programs at the University of Potsdam.
A course is designated as compulsory when it is a necessary component of a degree program and it must be attended by students in order for them to register for an examination.
A course is referred to as compulsory elective when it can be chosen from a limited number of courses on offer; attendance to the chosen course is compulsory, the choice, however, is facultative.
Compulsory Elective Subject
A course is referred to as compulsory elective when it can be chosen from a limited number of courses on offer; attendance to the chosen course is compulsory, the choice, however, is facultative. A subject chosen from an authorized course catalog; a degree curriculum also consists of elective courses (freely chosen) and compulsory courses.
Consecutive Bachelor's and Master's Programs
Consecutive (successive both in terms of schedule and content) Bachelor's and Master's programs are degree programs that build upon each other as regards content; the consecutively designed Bachelor's and Master's programs may not exceed the maximum five year time frame designated by the standard period of study; degree programs can also be completed successively at different universities or types of institutions of higher education and even after a phase of professional activity between the first and second degree; in the case of consecutive degrees, the Master's Degree entails either a deeper specialization within the chosen field of study or an interdisciplinary further academic qualification; Master's Degrees should be distinguished by either being research-oriented or application-related; in addition there are post-graduate Master’s Degree programs that require a minimum of one year professional practice.
Courses time frame
see lecture period.
Credit Points (CP)
Credit points are a quantitative measure of the work required by the student. One CP is allocated for an estimated student workload of 25 to 35 hours of in-class and independent study time. The credit point thereby represents achieved learning performance; it is a kind of bonus point that is credited to the student's personal point account at the end of a semester for the successful participation in a course (module); in order to earn a degree in a subject, the student must have attained a certain number (determined by subject-specific regulations) of such credit points in his or her point account; the term credit point represents a decoupling from an organization unit defined by hours per week, which reflects the teaching workload of a course; the stress now lies on the learning workload for the student.
Abbreviation for cum tempore (Latin for "with time") - Used in course announcements to indicate that the class begins 15 minutes later (academic quarter), as opposed to s.t.
For example, 17:00 c.t. indicates that the class begins 15 minutes later (17:15) than the given time.
(Latin for "with distinction") - The third-best grade by the evaluation of a doctoral examination and corresponds to the grade of "good".
The content and formulation of the course of studies as prescribed by the degree regulations.
DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service )
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a self-governing organization of higher education institutions in Germany; its aim is to promote academic relations between German and foreign institutions of higher learning and the exchange of students, faculty, and researchers; it is the scholarship provider for studies and traineeships abroad. You can also visit the website of the German Academic Exchange Service.
The title for the head of the faculty; the dean represents the faculty within and outside of the university and conducts its affairs under his or her own responsibility.
Dean of Studies
The Faculty Council selects the Dean of Studies out of a group of university instructors based on a recommendation from the students and in agreement with the Dean; the Dean of Studies chairs the permanent Faculty Commission for Teaching and Studies; in particular, the Dean of Studies supports the Dean in the organisation of studies and examinations, the coordination of study and teaching, as well as in ensuring the range of courses on offer, which is necessary to comply with degree regulations.
A degree program is determined by the combination of one or more disciplines and the intended final examination; a degree program is governed by study and examination regulations and is directed towards a particular degree which qualifies holders to practice a profession.
The regulations, which are generally made public by the responsible government ministry, that govern the content and structure of degrees in accordance with the examination regulations, e.g. in terms of scope, segments of study, whether a course event is compulsory, compulsory elective, or optional, internships, choice of focus, minor subjects, etc.
Applicable for all degree programs on questions concerning the structure, organization, and content of a discipline; in addition to the subject adviser, every professor conducts advising in his or her subject.
DFG (German Research Foundation)
The German Research Foundation promotes and aids in the development of research projects; further information can be found here.
This is a document issued by the university that explains the qualification profiles indicated by the degree description, which can be attached to the degree certificate; it includes information on the admission requirements of the completed degree program, on the length of time required to complete the program, on completed course contents, the plan of studies, the academic and professional qualifications acquired with the completion of the degree, and the level of qualification within the national system of higher education.
(From the Latin "rigor" meaning "rigid, narrow") Refers to the oral part of the doctoral examination; the specific conditions for the disputation, among other things, can be found in the Faculty Regulations for Doctoral Degree Studies.
A written work submitted within the framework of a doctorate, which demonstrates the candidate's capacity for independent scholarly work and the presentation of new scientific research results.
A basic organizational unit of the administration of the University of Potsdam.
A possible form of studies for university and polytechnic university graduates, who meet the admission prerequisites of a doctoral candidate as per regulations for doctoral degrees by the respective faculty; the regulations can be found in the Registration Regulations of the University of Potsdam.
The conferment of a doctorate degree or the academic procedure by which a written work (dissertation) and an oral examination (an oral defense or a disputation) through which the doctorate is earned; as a general rule, admission to a doctorate degree program requires a relevant completed degree (Diploma, Magister, State Examination, Master's); in a tiered system of study is the Master's degree the usual prerequisite for admission to a doctorate program; only in individual cases can particularly well-suited Bachelor graduates (following a special examination of achievements and aptitude) submit an application for a doctorate.
The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is a system oriented towards students. It is based on the workload that students must complete in order to reach the goals of a learning program. These goals are preferably determined in the form of learning results and skills to be acquired during study. Also see Credit Points.
This is a general term for all forms of learning that make use of digital media, such as chat discussions, Wikis, learning programs, and Moodle.
- Enrollment of a student in the university list (immatriculation); the rules can be found in the Registration Regulations of the University of Potsdam; the student thereby becomes a member of the university.
- Registering in courses - To be entered on the lists of the areas/subjects for courses offered (online or on paper lists).
Equal Opportunity Commissioners
The equal opportunity commissioners advise and assist the president and other bodies and institutions of the university in all matters relating to gender equality and the development and monitoring of directives and programs for the promotion of women. Further information can be found here.
An EU program active in the area of higher education. Students wishing to study abroad with ERASMUS+ should attend one of the information events of the International Office and also seek early advice from the International Office; they should also contact the ERASMUS coordinator of the relevant institute in a timely manner.
An event format that takes place outside of the university. The trip serves to promote cognition, outlook, or the improvement of certain skills, whereby excursions can be offered within Germany and/or abroad.
This is a course form in which theoretical knowledge is applied to practical examples or specific praxis-related problems; exercises can also serve to develop language skills.
Basic organizational unit of the university for teaching and research; includes related or neighboring fields of study; the head of the faculty is the dean; the University of Potsdam is structured in seven faculties:
- Department of Sports and Health Sciences
- Digital Engineering Faculty,
- Law Faculty,
- Faculty of Arts,
- Human Sciences Faculty,
- Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences,
- Faculty of Science.
Elected organ of the faculty that includes representatives of university teachers, students, academic staff, and technical and administrative staff; the faculty council elects a chair from among its members; the Faculty Council is responsible for promulgating statutes, making decisions regarding structural and development planning for departments, as well as recommendations on hiring and post-graduate qualifications; the involvement in the evaluation and coordination of teaching and research in the departments as well as the election and dismissal of the dean and his or her representatives; it also oversees the dean with respect to the fulfillment of his or her tasks.
(commilito - Latin for companion, colleague) - Fellow students
First State Examination in Law
A state examination in which the candidate must display wide-ranging legal knowledge, without being subject to any specialization. The first state examination is the precondition for a student's further education towards becoming attorney and to thereby enter into classical legal professions such as that of an attorney or judge. The standard period of study is four semesters.
Foreign national with german education
Refers to foreign and stateless university applicants or students, who have obtained their university entrance qualification in the Federal Republic of Germany or at a German school abroad.
Free Trial Courses
The university offers high school students and prospective university students the opportunity of participating in certain designated courses in order to gain insight into the degree programs for that discipline; Programs are set up every Winter Semester and can be found on the Internet.
Refers to a certificate of language skills in ancient Greek acquired in the relevant language courses.
Academic proceedings relating to a post-doctoral dissertation thesis and its oral defense; it serves to demonstrate the candidate's ability to independently teach and conduct research in a scientific field; a doctorate degree is usually the precondition for a habilitation; the qualification of habilitation is usually a prerequisite to being appointed as a professor; those with post-doctoral qualifications can use the academic title of "Privatdozent" (private lecturer) after being issued an authorization to teach (venia legendi).
Regulations according to which up to 3% of admission slots are reserved for cases of extreme hardship (i.e. students with disabilities and chronic illnesses); the recognition of a hardship application leads - without consideration of selection criteria (e.g. grade point average, waiting period) - directly to admission before other applicants; an exceptional situation must therefore be evident. Rules and applications can be found here.
h.c. (honorary degree)
Honoris causa (Latin for "the sake of the honor") - A faculty can award the title Dr. h. c. to individuals on the basis of special achievements, even if they had not studied or earned a doctorate.
Statutory health insurance obligation that includes the right to be insured at a more favorable student premium. This right exists for students until the 14th semester or until one's 30th birthday; exceptions with respect to the end of the health insurance obligation are possible in those cases involving a second-chance education, illness, disability, etc.; exempt from obligatory health insurance are students insured as family members; students who are no longer subject to obligatory health insurance can voluntarily take out health insurance; more information can be found by contacting public health insurance companies; the certificate of health insurance supplied the health insurance company must be presented upon enrollment and the university must be notified of any change in insurance company.
HGP (Building Management at the University of Potsdam )
Common service provider for the University of Potsdam, the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, and the Konrad Wolf Film University in Babelsberg entrusted with the tasks of service and maintenance as well as property management.
A person who, on the basis of outstanding scientific or artistic performance in a discipline meets the requirements placed upon professors and, in most cases, has spent many years independently teaching at a university, can be appointed to the position of honorary professor (see Section 55 BbgHG).
Hours per Week
Also known by its German abbreviation (SWS); indicates the number of (academic) hours (usually 45 minutes) per week of a course during the normal class period during a semester, e.g. 1 SWS indicates that a course is given for one hour (45 minutes) per week during the course period of a semester (usually 15 weeks); this means that when a student attends a two-hour long course for one semester, two hours per week (SWS) will have been completed.
Fundamentally, tenants, including students, with a low income who must nonetheless pay high rent have the right to claim a housing allowance in accordance with the housing allowance law; students can only claim a housing allowance if they are not eligible for financial aid; all students who receive financial aid or those solely on account of a high income or sufficient assets are not eligible for financial aid through BAföG do not have the right to housing allowance; those who, for instance, study under the rubric of "further education" and are therefore not eligible for BAföG, those who have exceeded the maximum period of financial assistance, those who are not eligible for BAföG on account of a change of discipline, students who have not earned the necessary credit certificates after the 4th semester can - if they meet other prerequisites - obtain a housing allowance; the same applies to spouses and children of students; here an entitlement to housing allowance is also possible.
HRK (German Rectors' Conference)
A voluntary association of universities in the German Federal Republic; the member universities cooperate in the performance of tasks concerning research, teaching, study, and self-administration; information can be found under www.hrk.de.
Refers to forms of independent preparation and acquisition of course content.
A library service through which books and journal articles not found at the university can be borrowed from other libraries. More on interlibrary loans can be found here.
An institution of the University of Potsdam responsible for dealing with questions on studies and traineeships abroad as well as for the supervision of full-time international and exchange students. Further information can be found on the website of the International Office.
A course format in which (a numerically limited number of) participants 1. acquire skills through the planning, execution, and evaluation of experiments and learn methods that should enable them to independently conduct experimental work or 2. apply and practice what has already been learned outside of the the university, e.g. in a company or school internship.
A seminar offered during basic studies or the first segment of a degree that is usually taken after attending an introductory lecture (or, if necessary, a basic course); it conveys foundational knowledge, offers discussion on various approaches to research in a subject area, and teaches general methods of academic work; students are required to actively contribute to the seminar (i.e. by holding an in-class presentation on a particular subject and subsequently submitting a written work on that subject).
A professor, who after completing university studies and possessing a demonstrated pedagogical aptitude and a special ability for scientific work (typically documented by a dissertation project of outstanding quality), is appointed even without a previous post-doctoral degree; the period of a junior professorship is limited - please refer to the BbgHG.
These are general abilities that can be acquired; they are useful in solving problems and for learning new competences in a great many areas. They include social competence, methodological competence, and subject competences/key competences that are not bound to applications in one particular discipline; there are 30 credit points to be earned in this area in all two-subject Bachelor’s degree programs at the University of Potsdam. Interdisciplinary key competences are organized in Studiumplus at the University of Potsdam.
Leave of absence
A leave of absence can be granted by the Student Administration Center/ Office of Student Affairs if the student provides a justified written application, generally submitted with re-registration for the next semester. The regulations can be found in the Registration Regulations of the University of Potsdam. Relevant information can also be found in the contribution rules for the Potsdam Association for Student Affairs or be viewed here.
Leave of Absence Semester
A semester in which a student takes a leave of absence; does not count as a study semester, but does count as a semester at university; there can be no claim for BAföG financial support during a leave of absence semester within Germany (an exception is made for the Auslands-BAföG program) and, in most cases, not for one's child allowance either (exception: a study-related stay abroad); during a leave of absence semester it is not permitted to attend any courses, yet examinations may be taken; the regulations can be found in the registration regulations of the University of Potsdam.
A course format in which a professor presents a lecture consisting of a certain quantity of subject material and read from a manuscript before an unlimited-sized audience; this means that the students in attendance are meant to listen, follow the train of thought, and take notes on the lecture, which is why lectures require intensive preparation and follow-up work; the lecture can be combined with a discussion, although this is usually the exception; interposed questions are possible, although, generally speaking, not customary.
A time frame during the semester, determined by the senate, in which courses are held (usually a period of 15 weeks); is also referred to as the course period.
A typically interdisciplinary event series on specific topics with various lecturers.
magna cum laude
(Latin for "with great distinction") - The second-best grade by the evaluation of a doctoral examination and corresponds to the grade of "very good".
An academic degree awarded after the successfully completion of a one-to-two-year master's program at the university; the concrete degree (e.g. Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Education) is dependant on the discipline and aim of the degree; admission to the master's program requires a completed degree (e.g. a bachelor degree) and it should therefore be regarded as a post-graduate degree; master's degree programs are offered either as consecutive degrees corresponding with the relevant bachelor degree programs or as continuing education degree programs; these continuing education master's degree programs are not preceded by specific bachelor degree programs; the offer the possibility of a post-graduate degree on the basis of various university degrees; the admission requirements for master's degree programs can vary widely and are formulated in the discipline-related regulations and in the admission regulations; the procedure of admission and the selection of master's degree programs is established in the admission regulations; continuing education master's degree programs are usually preceded not only by a first degree but also by a minimum of one year's work experience.
The list that consists of the names of the students of a university; the registration number, which is indicated on the student ID upon enrollment, is the serial number in this list.
Maximum period of assistance
A concept dealing with German Financial Aid (BAföG); this period of time is determined for every degree program offered at the university; it constitutes the maximum period for financial assistance and is determined by the standard period of study.
The German abbreviation for the Brandenburg Ministry for Education, Youth and Sport.
Modules are thematic and temporally bounded teaching units that feature interrelated fields of content; they are completed with (at a minimum) an achieved examination performance or other verifiable results; the length of a module should in general not exceed more than two semesters, but can consist of sub-modules, which can be tested separately; a module must be completed with an examination or another verifiable evaluation of performance in order to demonstrate successful (and, if applicable, graded) participation and to correspondingly earn the number of credit points set for that particular module; modules can thereby be linked to study credits (e.g. lectures, practice traineeship) and at least one examination.
Multiple Enrollment at different universities
Refers to a simultaneous enrollment in different academic institutions of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg under certain conditions; the regulations can be found in the Registration Regulations of the University of Potsdam; the University of Potsdam has established the necessary requirements for multiple enrollment even for bachelor degree programs. Whether a multiple enrollment is in fact possible depends on the decisions of Berlin universities.
The German abbreviation for the Brandenburg Ministry for Science, Research and Culture
The abbreviation for numerus clausus (Latin for "limited number"); refers to the numerical limitation of slots within a particular degree program; admission restrictions are always introduced when the number of applicants are invariably greater than there are available slots in the program; the selection of applicants is made by means of an admission procedure; the limits of N.C. (selection limits) are not set in advance, but rather only emerge with the results of the procedure - independent of how many applicants with various qualifications compete for the program slots; the results of the procedure from previous semesters can provide certain indications, yet there is fundamentally no way of providing serious prognoses concerning future selection limits; the term "N.C." is commonly used to refer to "admission restrictions."
Also known as a "free attempt"; a regulation with respect to Bachelor and Master programs, whereby a failed examination can be declared invalid if certain requirements are fulfilled. Further information can be found here.
Non-professorial teaching staff
A collective term referring to academics that are not professors, e.g. research associates, research assistants, senior assistants, etc.
Notice of admission
A written notification sent to the applicant regarding university admission.
Office of the dean
Refers to 1. the Office of the Dean, 2. the office rooms of the dean, or 3. the dean's term of office.
Office of the President
The staff of the Office of the President support the President and the members of the presidential executive committee in carrying out their tasks. The Office of the President advises the President in the execution of his duties, together with the faculties and administrative units it prepares the decisions of the President and the executive committee, and carries out the orders of the President and the executive committee or refers them to the faculties and the administrative units. The Office of the President is located in House 9 in the building complex Am Neuen Palais; additional information can be obtained here.
Courses are designated as optional when attendance by students is completely voluntary; there are no tests on course contents; these courses can be chosen according to one's personal inclinations and should therefore be considered only after all other courses have been fitted into one's schedule.
Organizations for the promotion of gifted students
These organizations are dedicated to supporting (especially) gifted students and doctoral candidates; their main concern is to discover talented individuals and to offer various forms of encouragement (e.g. through the awarding of grants and scholarships). Please refer to www.stiftungen.org/startseite.html. An overview of organizations promoting gifted students and liason lecturers at the University of Potsdam can be found here.
OSA - Online-Self-Assessments
Online self-assessment tests offer potential students the opportunity to review their own abilities, talents, and interests in terms of their intended degree program.
An online test can be freely taken for the following degree programs:
- Nutrition Sciences (single-subject Bachelor’s Degree)
- French (Bachelor's Degree Subject related to Teacher Certification)
- French Philology (dual-subject Bachelor’s Degree)
- Italian Philology (dual-subject Bachelor’s Degree)
- Law (single-subject Bachelor’s Degree & First State Examination in Law)
- Spanish (Bachelor's Degree Subject related to Teacher Certification)
- Spanish Philology (dual-subject Bachelor’s Degree)
More information can be found here.
A form of studies in which a student, who is enrolled at another university that falls within the scope of the laws of the German federal states, is simultaneously enrolled in another degree program at the University of Potsdam; it is only possible in very special cases and requires an application submission; applicable regulations can be found in the Registration Regulations of the University of Potsdam.
(From the Latin "par" meaning "equal") - Refers to the composition of a committee or board with an equal number of individuals from various member groups.
From the French "plagiare" meaning "theft of intellectual property" - Takes place when someone else's intellectual achievements are presented as one's own, i.e. through the adoption, paraphrasing, or translation of someone else's thoughts or formulations without citing sources; plagiarism constitutes an attempt at deception according to the framework regulations for the Bachelor and Master’s degree programs at the University of Potsdam. As one of the guidelines in protecting intellectual property, the ban on plagiarism is one of the academic norms.
A preparatory course teaches necessary but lacking skills or knowledge that are prerequisite for certain degree programs; the maximum period of financial assistance through BAföG can be extended by one semester for selected prerequisite programs (previous semester) in which the required language skills for a degree program as stated in the respective degree regulations, e.g. Italian, Spanish, Russian, and, under certain requirements, Latin can be learned.
The representative of the university elected by the academic board and appointed by the member of the Brandenburg state government responsible for institutions of higher education; the current President of the University of Potsdam is Prof. Oliver Günther, Ph.D. Together with the Vice President and the Chancellor, he presides over the University of Potsdam. He works towards the further development of the university and raising its profile in terms of teaching and research; he represents the university to the outside world. The presidential executive committee is formed to provide support to the President; at the University of Potsdam, this committee consists of the President, the Vice President, the Deans, and the Chancellor.
Privatdozent (Private Lecturer)
An academic title following habilitation for a scholar with recognized teaching ability and the authorization to teach; the "Privatdozent" is thereby authorized to independently teach (see Section 54 BbgHG).
A professor independently fulfills the responsibilities of the university in the areas of science and art as well as in research and teaching in his or her discipline according to the detailed drafting of his or her employment contract; a professor participates in study reform, student advisory services, and state exams, holds university examinations, promotes the transfer of knowledge and technology, and contributes to the administration of the university (see BbgHG).
An outdated term referring to the position of a professor. Today the term professorship is used.
A critical assessment of a state of affairs/problem on the basis of theoretical knowledge.
A facility for students of the university that belongs to the Central Student Advisory Service; mediates in problematic and conflict-laden situations; offers counseling in matters affecting the quality of a student's private life in various social spheres (e.g. study, friends, family). Additional information can be found here.
PUCK (The University of Potsdam Chip Card)
PUCK is the Potsdam University Chip Card, which simultaneously functions as a student ID, semester ticket for public transportation, university library card, copying and printing card, and a means of payment at the commons and cafeterias of the Potsdam Association for Student Affairs. Further information can be found here.
The University of Potsdam portal for organizing teaching and studies (PULS); it is an online platform that, among other things, allows students to find out about the course events of various degree programs through the online course catalog, to draft their own course schedule online, register online in participant lists of course events, and view their own grades online; access to PULS and other important information can be found on the university homepage or via this link.
Qualification in Latin
Refers to the certificate of language skills in Latin acquired in the relevant language courses; in some German federal states this is sub-divided into intermediate Latin and advanced Latin proficiency; in the state of Brandenburg, a student's qualification in Latin is accredited with a certificate in Latin.
A process by which a student declares the desire to maintain the right to be enrolled for the following semester; it takes place at the end of the semester (15.01.-15.02. for the Summer Semester, 15.06.-15.07. for the Winter Semester) for the semester immediately following; should a student fail to apply for Re-registration, this results (following due notice) in de-registration; the regulations can be found in the Registration Regulations of the University of Potsdam.
Research Training Groups
These are long-term, but not permanent university institutions in which doctoral students can prepare their dissertations within the framework of a systematically structured doctoral study program and within a thematically comprehensive research context; they are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and established at universities.
The retirement of a professor; a retired professor holds the title of "Emeritus"; emeritus professors are not required to teach courses, but can offer courses if they wish.
(From the Latin "repetitio" meaning repetition):
1. An event that serves to review and supplement subject matter acquired elsewhere (e.g. in lectures); revision courses take place, for instance, in law studies, usually to prepare for examinations (review classes).
2. Collection of possible examination questions - with answers (a revision book).
A sum of money that can be used to finance one's studies; the largest scholarship providers are civic foundations and organizations or those linked to political parties.
A degree program that is begun when a university degree certificate has already been attained and further studies are begun with the aim of earning an additional "first professional" degree (e.g. a second Bachelor degree following an already completed Bachelor degree or Diploma; not to be confused with a postgraduate degree, e.g. a Master's degree after a Bachelor degree); second degree applicants are given an extra quota for restricted admission degree programs, yet they must provide pertinent grounds with their application and possibly include relevant recommendations; otherwise anyone can apply for a second degree in open admissions disciplines; as a rule, second degrees are not accorded financial support through BAföG.
This is an allocation procedure for admission slots applied when there are more applicants for a degree program than there are available openings. Restricted admission is therefore imposed on these degree programs. The selection procedure is applied by the university or the service center for university admissions (hochschulstart).
The criteria that specifically applies for the university selection procedure are the following: the degree of qualification (grade point average on the school leaving certificate); weighted individual grades on the school leaving certificate that provide information on degree-specific aptitude; results of a degree-specific aptitude test or the results of a selection interview, which could provide information on the purpose for pursuing the selected degree program and the relationship to the aspired profession, as well as avoid any misconceptions concerning the program; or a combination of these criteria. The selection for degree programs that require direct application to the University of Potsdam is made by the Office of Student Affairs. Here, as well, admission slots are first allocated to certain groups of applicants (foreigners, hardship applications, second degree, etc.). 80% of the remaining places to study will be allocated according to the university selection procedure and 20% according to the waiting time ranking list. Currently, selections are made according to grade point average within the framework of the admission allocation procedure (exception: IT Systems Engineering). Due to possible changes, you should also seek advice at the Central Student Advisory Service.
(From the Latin "sex" - six, "mensis" - month, a period of 6 months) - A period of study lasting half a year, a temporal partition of the academic year into a:
1. Summer semester: From April 1 to September 30, and a
2. Winter semester: From October 1 to March 31
The semester is not identical to the normal class period, but is commonly referred to as such.
A personal public transportation ticket for students, the price of which is included in the enrollment or re-registration fees; the current semester ticket is valid for one semester within the tariff area of the public transport system of Berlin and Brandenburg (VBB) (for additional information see VBB Semester Ticket Contract).
(From the Latin "seminare" meaning to sow) - A seminar is:
1. A type of course characterized by scholarly or scientific discussion in which the methods of scholarly work are learned or more deeply developed; the seminar is conducted by a member of the academic staff; participants can contribute to a seminar through, for instance, presentations; a seminar can also refer to:
2. a university institute for a particular department with corresponding facilities,
3. an ecclesiastical institute for the training of clergy (e.g. seminary training),
4. an accompanying course with a school internship for trainee teachers prior to the second state examination.
(From the Latin "sine tempore" for without time) - An abbreviation used in course announcements to indicate that the class begins punctually at the given time, as opposed to c.t.; for example, 17:00 s.t. indicates that the class begins at 17:00 sharp.
Standard time for completing a degree
The period of studies in which a completed degree can be earned provided that the degree regulations and course offerings are suitably structured; it includes the standard period of study and the examination period; the regulations can be found for individual degree programs; the standard time for completing a degree corresponds to the maximum period of assistance provided by BAföG.
Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK)
Conference of the Ministers of Education (Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany) - a voluntary working group consisting of the state ministers of culture; further information can be found under www.kmk.org.
A final examination in accordance with state regulations for scientists and public officials that must be taken by doctors, pharmacists, food chemists, and lawyers; in the case of teachers and lawyers, the First State Examination is followed by practical training in law or teaching (Referendariat) and is subsequently concluded with the Second State Examination; as part of the study reform, degree programs in teacher education in Brandenburg will be completed with Bachelor and Master’s degrees; a Master's degree is recognized by the Brandenburg State Institute for Teacher Training as equivalent to the First State Examination.
Designation for a degree program that is undertaken during the waiting period until admission is granted to a restricted admission degree program; the duration of the stopgap studies is not counted as part of the waiting period.
(From the Latin "studious" for zeal) - An abbreviation for student, which can appear in connection with faculty abbreviations, e.g. stud. jur., stud. phil., stud. psych.
These are students who are paid to work in institutions of higher education where they carry out archival, office, and documentation work or also scholarly work.
The elected representatives of the whole student body, which in turn elects the General Students’ Committee (AStA).
Study abroad (semester abroad)/Internship abroad
A period of study abroad at a foreign university, usually in the form of a semester or year-length study or an internship abroad, is obligatory in some degree programs and recommended by many others. In any case, it offers a professional, cultural, and linguistic enrichment to one's studies; the recognition of credits earned abroad at one's home university is facilitated by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), but should nonetheless be clarified at the home university before the start of the stay abroad. Hereby responsible is the International Office of the University of Potsdam. The International Office provides information on exchange, scholarship, and language programs, as well as support in the preparation of a stay abroad. As these preparations last a number of months and, depending on the program, can be bound by certain preconditions and application deadlines, students should already inform themselves concerning the possibilities and requirements for a stay abroad at the beginning of their studies.
Study and examination regulations
The content and organization of university studies are governed by the respective subject-specific regulations for each discipline, which are based on the applicable general regulations. These documents govern in particular the regulations for examinations, such as examination deadlines, the number and form of the examinations that must be passed, and their requirements (the performance monitoring process).
Foreign language skill documentation, combination possibilities, standard time for completing a degree, and the form of academic and examination performance are articulated in the subject-specific regulations. A sample degree progress plan is typically provided so that you can see how your studies could be structured within a standard period of study.
The semester in which a student was enrolled in one and the same degree program; leave of absence semesters are not study semesters, but do count as semesters at university; when a student changes degree programs, it can happen that study semesters and university semesters no longer correspond.
summa cum laude
(Latin for "with the highest distinction") - The best grade by the evaluation of a doctoral examination and corresponds to the grade of "with distinction".
Part of the academic year consisting of 6 months; at the University of Potsdam, the Summer semester lasts from April 1 to September 30 and is here abbreviated as SoSe.
Abbreviation for "To Be Announced" - Indicates that the name is not yet known; written in the course catalog when it is not yet certain who will conduct the course or occupy a vacant position.
Financial resources made available to a scholar or an institution by a third party, and which are thereby outside of the normal budget. Sources of funding include German scientific foundations, the German Research Foundation, and, via the EU, such institutions as the European Social Fund (ESF).
The total number of semesters in which a student was enrolled at one or more universities (in Germany); leave of absence semesters are included in the total number of semesters.
Occurs when a student begins a degree in a higher semester after enrollment/admission although not having previously been enrolled in that particular degree program (e.g. in the case of changing degree programs with the recognition of previously acquired credit points and exam achievements) - prerequisites are certification of necessary qualification and free study slots; previously acquired academic achievements must first be recognized by the responsible examination board for that particular degree program to which the student is changing; in the case of restricted admission degree programs in higher semesters, only study slots that have become available are newly assigned and transferring to such study programs therefore entails great risk.
(From the Latin "tutor" meaning guardian, protector) - Someone who supervises or guides students; usually students who are in the later semesters of their studies.
A (supplemental) exercise/course given at a university, which offers first semester students, in particular, general and/or academic assistance (e.g. in setting up a schedule, learning how to write a term paper, or subject-specific questions).
University Athletic Department
A voluntary sports program open to all members of the university; the main focus is on popular sports, yet it also includes competitive sports; the sports program offers a flexible schedule to meet the special requirements of those studying and working at the university; the university athletic department fosters communication and integration among its participants; its activities serve to maintain health and one's capacity for learning; also see University Athletic Department.
University entrance qualification
A collective term referring to the qualifications required to be enrolled in a university degree program, i.e. German High School Leaving Certificate (Abitur), a degree from a professional school (possibly with specialization) or a technical college; professional qualifications to study without an Abitur (see BbgHG); admission to study can also be dependent on further conditions (e.g. traineeship, aptitute test).
University Library (UB)
The UB of the University of Potsdam provides students, instructors, and researchers from all disciplines with literature and other information resources; at each of the three university campuses there is a branch library with book and periodical holdings that correspond to the particular disciplinary focus; the UB maintains holdings of around 1.2 million volumes, approximately 2800 printed periodicals and 15,600 electronic periodicals, as well as some 330,000 e-books; in order to enjoy borrowing rights, every student must register at the library with a personal identification document and student ID (PUCK); further information can be found on the homepage of the UB.
University Society Potsdam
A funding organization that provides general support to the University of Potsdam; further information can be found on the website.
Representative of the Dean; a professor, who is a member of the Faculty Council, appointed to the position of Vice-Dean by the Faculty Council based on the recommendation of the President.
A representative of the President, elected by the Senate upon the recommendation of the President.
These are students enrolled at other universities who have applied for permission to attend courses, in particular, courses in their discipline; they can earn credits and, under certain conditions, can complete examinations; for regulations, see Section 9 of the Registration Regulations of the University of Potsdam.
The time during which an applicant was enrolled abroad after acquiring a higher education entrance qualification; calculated in half years; additional time can be credited under certain conditions; stopgap studies are not considered as a waiting period.
Part of the academic year consisting of 6 months; at the University of Potsdam, the Winter semester lasts from October 1 to March 31 and is abbreviated as WiSe.
Zessko (Center for Languages and Key Competences)
Zessko offers language courses for students taking philological degrees as well as for students and scholars who would like to learn foreign languages as a key competence.
In the focus area of the structured introductory study phase, teaching and learning opportunities make it easier for German and international students to start their university studies, especially in the field of basic academic skills.
The ability to manage one’s own learning processes become increasingly important for navigating complex plans of study as well as for lifelong learning. Zessko supports this in the self-study focus area.
Zessko is divided into the following divisions, which follow the focus areas:
- Languages division
- Introductory Study Phase division
- Self-study division
as well as in the StudiumPlus course committee office, which supports the work of the course committee. Visit the Zessko website.